Children’s Healthcare releases master plan for new campus at I-85/North Druid Hills

Posted by Dan Whisenhunt November 16, 2017

This story has been updated. 

Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta hosted a community meeting Thursday night to show off plans for its new campus at I-85 and North Druid Hills Road.

CHOA announced in February that it is closing its inpatient facility at Egleston campus at Emory and opening a new hospital across the street from Executive Park. It will be several years before Egleston’s inpatient facility closes. The new hospital will be located across the street from the Atlanta Hawks sports medicine center and training facility. It make take as long as eight years to build the new hospital.

At the meeting, CHOA officials revealed that the new 70 acre campus will have 20 acres of green space, a 446-bed hospital and more than $40 million of transportation investments to make the facility easier to access, including a redesign of the I-85/North Druid Hills intersection.

“The Brookhaven Planning Commission previously requested that Children’s provide additional details on its master plan prior to considering the annexation and rezoning of adjacent land for children’s proposed support building,” the press release says. “Children’s will present the updated master plan at the Planning Commission’s Dec. 6 meeting.”

Here is the full press release:

Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Unveils North Druid Hills Campus Plans

70+ Acre Campus Designed to Help Children Heal Faster with Healing Views, 20+ Acres of Greenspace and Medically Efficient Design

ATLANTA (Nov. 16, 2017) – Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta today unveiled the proposed master plan for its new North Druid Hills Campus, which includes a replacement hospital, the Center for Advanced Pediatrics, support buildings and more than 20 acres of greenspace and miles of walking trails and paths on site. The plans were shared with neighbors and community members in a meeting at the Thalia N. Carlos Hellenic Community Center and made available at www.choa.org.

The plans – informed by months of meetings with community members, patient families, physicians, nurses, employees and local officials – will transform an existing landscape of asphalt and one-story, 50-year old office buildings at the intersection of I-85 and North Druid Hills into a pediatric healthcare destination set in a healing, natural landscape.

“Our goal is simple: to help more children get better faster,” said Donna Hyland, CEO of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. “Georgia’s pediatric population is growing, and our new campus will allow us to meet our state’s need while improving health outcomes for our patients in a transformative environment for our patient families, physicians, staff and our neighbors.”

Healing Views

Architecture and landscape design firms HKS and HGOR, Inc. worked with Children’s to take advantage of the acreage and views afforded by the campus’s location.

“This new campus is designed to serve our community’s needs now and for generations to come,” said Jonathan Goldman, Chairman of the Board of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. “The master plan creates a unique environment of healing while providing access to the highest-quality care, facilities and outcomes.”

Many patients will enjoy views of the Buckhead, Midtown and downtown Atlanta skylines. Others will enjoy views of Stone Mountain and distant outlines of the Appalachian foothills. All patients will be able to enjoy tremendous amounts of natural light and views of more than 20 acres of planned gardens and greenspace on the campus.

“These views – while exceptional – are what we call ‘healing views’,” said Bob Farrow, principal at HKS. “Research indicates that patients who enjoy natural light and outdoor views heal faster, require less pain medication and have shorter stays. A green campus designed with efficient clinical spaces is vital to achieving these outcomes.”

The new acres of greenspace on campus will do more than serve patients, employees and families – they will also help cleanse stormwater runoff, contributing to improved health for Peachtree Creek. Four times the number of trees currently on the site will be planted, bringing new hardwood trees and helping to restore the tree cover and canopy that earned Atlanta its nickname of “the city in a forest.”
 
Campus and Transportation Details

Anchored by the replacement hospital in the middle of the site, the campus will also feature the Center for Advanced Pediatrics, more than 20 acres of greenspace and miles of trails and paths, and support buildings along the I-85 frontage road. Plans call for 446 beds in two patient towers, with an attached medical office building and a consolidated AFLAC Cancer and Blood Disorders Center.

Additional structures planned for completion by 2026 include a central energy plant that will allow for efficient and sustainable energy on site and ancillary parking decks.

As part of its campus plan, Children’s anticipates investing more than $40 million to help improve public health and safety. Planned investments include funding for significant road improvements nearby, including kicking off the process for redesigning the I-85/North Druid Hills intersection, an improved access point from North Druid Hills Road and improvements on several nearby arterial roads.

Additional plans call for a new connection underneath I-85 that will allow direct vehicular access to the campus. This connection will also enable surrounding neighborhoods, Executive Park and Cliff Valley Way to have eventual access to the planned Peachtree Creek Greenway. New sidewalks will also be built on the edge of the new campus.

All transportation and infrastructure investments will be carefully coordinated with local governments and relevant organizations.

“We intend to be a catalyst for long-awaited transportation and infrastructure improvements along this corridor,” said Hyland. “Our investments will make it easier for our patient families to reach us and improve some existing traffic and pedestrian challenges for our neighbors.”
 
Next Steps

The Brookhaven Planning Commission previously requested that Children’s provide additional details on its master plan prior to considering the annexation and rezoning of adjacent land for Children’s proposed support building. Children’s will present the updated master plan at the planning commission’s Dec. 6 meeting.

Children’s will follow a zoning process chosen by Brookhaven for its new campus, which will involve adjustments to the language of the city’s industrial zoning district to accommodate the new campus. Public hearings on the proposed zoning amendments will be held at the Brookhaven Planning Commission meeting on Dec. 6 and at the Brookhaven City Council meeting on Dec. 12.

“Children’s North Druid Hills Campus is going to create a new front door for Brookhaven while providing a healing natural environment for children from Brookhaven and across the state,” said Brookhaven Mayor John Ernst. “We look forward to learning more about their plans in the next few months.”

Once finalized, campus plans will be submitted to the Atlanta Regional Commission as a Development of Regional Impact (DRI). Children’s expects that process to take four to six months. Construction on the campus will likely begin in 2020, with anticipated completion in 2026.

Additional information, site plans and renderings can be found at www.choa.org/breakingnewground.

CHOA also released several renderings of the project:

“The campus will be a transformative pediatric healthcare destination. Just as Atlanta is a city in a forest, we are creating a campus in a forest. The buildings will integrate into a lush, green environment and will be oriented to maximize the number of spaces with access to natural light.” Photo provided by CHOA

A copy of the site plan. Click to enlarge.

“Our patients and their families will be surrounded by nature and sunlight. Scientific studies have suggested that patients get better faster and their outcomes improve when they are in natural environments with fresh air and sunlight. Our campus is designed to shorten hospital stays, decrease stress, lower blood pressure, and reduce use of pain medication while allowing patients and families to benefit from a number of unique outdoor spaces.” Photo provided by CHOA

“Patients and their families will be enveloped by trees, greenspaces, and landscaped areas when they are not in their rooms. Plans call for four times the number of hardwood trees than currently exist on the site. These greenspaces will also filter rainwater and runoff, helping to improve the water quality of Peachtree Creek and other nearby streams.” Photo provided by CHOA

“The care for our patients and their families will begin when they arrive on our campus, not when they come through our doors. Our landscape will inspire, parking will be easy and intuitive, and our focus will be on minimizing anxiety for children and their caregivers.” Photo provided by CHOA

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About Dan Whisenhunt

Dan Whisenhunt is editor and publisher of Decaturish.com. https://www.linkedin.com/in/danwhisenhunt

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